Fifty years ago, Lawrence Chu opened a small eatery in a converted laundromat in Los Altos, offering Chinese takeout. The restaurant evolved into the renowned Chef Chu’s, which now serves more than 500 customers daily, including celebrities, heads of state, dignitaries and local sports heroes, and serves to-go meals for 500 more.
The acclaimed chef attributes a large part of his success to the community, and in the spirit of gratitude, he plans to give back through a fundraising banquet Feb. 9, with all proceeds benefiting the Los Altos History Museum.
The event, dubbed “Chef Chu’s, Serving History: Celebrating 50 Years,” will include a VIP Champagne reception with Chu at 5 p.m., followed by no-host cocktails at 6 p.m. The banquet at 6:30 p.m. will feature dishes created for the evening by Chu and inspired by the regions of China. Attendees also will receive a commemorative menu with personal notes written by the chef.
“This special evening is about celebrating history, being part of the Los Altos story and giving back to the community,” Chu said. “The museum is a gathering spot for generations to learn about those who’ve built, and contributed to, the area. Preserving this story helps engender pride, a sense of community and hopefully motivates active participation in our shared future.”
In his restaurant, Chef Chu values the feel-good aspect of food, checking that all dishes are prepared in the right frame of mind, and that patrons are relaxed while enjoying their meal in what he refers to as a “cultural center.”
Carrying on the tradition, his son, Larry Chu Jr., now oversees the running of the day-to-day business, after working alongside his father for nearly 20 years. The importance of bringing cultures together, involving generations and giving back to the community are ideals the Chus share with the Los Altos History Museum.
“When Chef Chu made this extremely generous offer, we were deeply touched. It is a true honor to be selected as the partner of his 50th anniversary celebration,” said Elisabeth Ward, the museum’s executive director. “Fundraisers are an opportunity for community members to show their support, and this one will be especially meaningful since it is a gift from both Chef Chu and from everyone who comes. We are grateful.”
“The Los Altos History Museum is a unique community resource. In addition to protecting and preserving our historical artifacts and presenting engaging exhibitions and programs, its focus on collecting and sharing the stories of those that have contributed and helped shape our local history is a gift to current and future generations,” said longtime museum supporters Chuck and Nan Geschke, also friends of Chu. “We are proud to celebrate Chef Chu’s story and to be acknowledging his many contributions to the community over these past 50 years.”
Seating is limited to 100. VIP Tickets are $500, Celebration Tickets are $300. The deadline to purchase tickets is Jan. 10.
For tickets and more information, visit losaltoshistory.org/chefchus50th.